Double Review: Eye Candy and Shany eye-shadow palette, and a meandering digression on visibility

Today we talk about playing with makeup.  I used to be very cautious with makeup, carefully following the "rules" laid down by ladymags about how to highlight, sculpt, and conceal various aspects of my face in order to conform to some sort of weird idealized way I was "supposed" to look.  I didn't wear black mascara or eyeliner because I was blonde*.  I was well into my early twenties before I owned my first eyeliner (now I have at least a dozen in all four formats). I avoided dark lipsticks because I was "too pale" to wear them, and I believe I even at one point purchased a subtle bronzer (which looked just as absurd as you may be imagining).  I was, in short, trying to look as much as some sort of median level of generic ladymag prettiness as I could manage.  This was not, it should be noted, in order to be attractive, but in order to be as invisible as humanly possible.  As a teen I was not a goth, not out of any lack of dark romanticism or wry sarcasm (I had both in spades), but because I was desperately hoping no one would notice me.  I am not sure exactly why.  I was never outright bullied, having a pair of seven-foot-tall brothers, one of whom is fairly protective, heavily muscled, and an occasional guest of various state correctional facilities will do that, I promise. I was just desperately insecure.  I went off to college, got more into feminism and fat acceptance, and received a serious request to be someone's nude model. I gradually became more confident, to the point that now, while I may be introverted and somewhat socially awkward, I am also fully confident of being pretty awesome and thus willing to be highly visible in public.  After an awkward college folk music and birkenstocks phase, this encroaching confidence was matched with increasing experimentation in dress, but it is really only quite recently that I have begun stepping outside a fairly narrow range of makeup looks.  I started with more extreme lipstick and eyeliner and have only very, very recently branched out into more experimental usages of eyeshadow.

The best tools in my new eyeshadow journey have been the book Eye Candy and the ridiculously cheap and highly pigmented 120 shade palette I bought from Shany cosmetics.  Naturally, one doesn't expect much from a 20$ palette of 120 shades, but this is actually some of the most highly pigmented eyeshadow I own, which compares favorably in pigmentation to Makeup Forever, MAC (although throwing yourself at the mercy of the fabulous queens at the MAC counter is still one of the most fun times you can have with makeup), or L'Oreal HIP.  it doesn't last much on it's own, but with Urban Decay Primer Potion (whose praises I will never cease singing) it stays where you put it until you take it off.  The colors are beautiful and they blend well.

Eye Candy is that most rare of style/makeup advice books which is completely non-prescriptive.  It never suggests that if you have a certain skin or eye color or shape there are certain looks or colors you can not do, but instead explains the different effects different techniques and color combos will give to different people.  The book is divided into two main sections, the first of which discusses basic technique, including blending, color choice, eyebrow shaping, and materials including brushes.  The second, and much larger section gives tutorials for a wide range of different looks, from the dramatic to the casual, although tilted towards the former.

Some are quite "runway" and perhaps not useful for many readers, but I suggest you can still learn a lot by playing with them.  These looks often boast the most interesting techniques and novel color usage.

Most qualify as wearable but dramatic

probably about a third fairly casual and easy to wear

Even if you don't find a lot of looks that you wish to wear frequently, I still think going through and playing with most of them will provide a solid education in the ways and means of eyeshadow

*In case you were ever wondering what my natural hair color really is, I believe it is still a dark honey-blonde but it hasn't been seen, except briefly earlier this year when it was not given enough time to grow out enough to be sure, in nearly a decade since I turned 16 and was allowed to first dye my hair.

All the pictures in this post are looks from Eye Candy made with Shany eyeshadow (in case that wasn't obvious).

PS: You'll notice I changed the theme.  I wanted something a bit darker as I have been tilting more towards goth than lolita, but not too dark to read (an occasional problem in the goth-o-sphere), and purple is my favorite color.


VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

Love the new theme!!

I too tried to blend in as much as possible in my younger years. For me it was because I had *always* been different than the other kids but I hadn't yet figured out why, or how to express myself. Once I found other people "like" me and suddenly had a comfort zone, I gained probably excessive levels of confidence. ;) So I typed all that just to say, "I understand!"

The color combination you used in the first photo is awesome. Especially the purple!

KID, MD said...

Yeah, that first picture is pretty awesome.

Also, you are easily the funniest person I know. I'm not sure that's saying much, given the general dry nerdiness of my acquaintance, but there it is. The seven foot ex-con had me laughing all day.

Sabayon said...

VictorianKitty - It occurs to me that almost everyone I talk to mentions not fitting in during High School. Either it is much less common to be normal than anyone suspects or all my friends are weirdos (I would believe either).

Katie- Thanks, but you shouldn't laugh at seven-foot-tall ex-cons you know.

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